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5 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is in Trouble

You can’t ignore these red flags.

You’re asking yourself, “Should I break up with my boyfriend?” because you just don’t feel that things are working out. You’ve probably noticed some big signs you should break up in the past, and are just now wondering when to break up with him. Breaking up is rarely easy — so how to know when to break up and how to figure out what you want are very important.

We’ve all at some point had that thought… “Is this relationship working anymore?”

You know it’s been a little rocky. Maybe the sex has been on an extended hiatus… like longer than the time between Game of Thrones seasons. Maybe you find yourselves sitting in two separate rooms at the end of the day on your devices. Or maybe you’ve just been hanging in there, waiting for something to happen that just isn’t happening with the person.

That small question, “Should I break up with him?” is repeating itself in your head.

When you love somebody though, leaving can be hard. It’s comfortable even when it’s uncomfortable. The lack of intimacy is often better than the thought of being alone. The constant bickering is better than having to financially make a go of it solo. Even when things are good, sometimes they’re just not good enough, yet you can’t face the truth.

The relationship might be over. But you’re not sure you’re ready to leave. Breaking up with someone is still harder than being in a bad relationship.

Check out YourTango for relationship advice

So, how do you know it’s time to end the relationship?

These are 5 clear signs that you should break up with your boyfriend and end the relationship:

1. You Can’t Agree On Big Issues.

You want one thing and your partner wants another. And no matter how many times you’ve discussed it, nobody is budging.

Sometimes two people just aren’t on the same page with what they want. For instance, Lisa was having a hard time accepting that her divorced boyfriend didn’t want to get married again. He had told her very early on he didn’t see himself remarrying, but she was so in love with him she thought eventually he’d change his mind.

Now here she was two years later, living with him and helping to raise his two young kids fifty percent of the time, yet nothing had changed.

This is an all too common scenario with couples. One person might want to have kids and the other person doesn’t. One wants to date other people while the other wants to be exclusive.

How to Make Difficult Conversations about Relationship Problems Easier On You Both

If you want to give the relationship some time in the hope that your partner might eventually meet you where you’re at…have a go at it. But you also need to honor yourself by having a timeline for yourself. If your partner and you can’t both get to the same place after a lot of negotiating, it’s time to walk away.

2. You’d Don’t Want to Be Intimate Anymore.

There’s having your sex life slow down because you’ve been together a long time and it’s not a priority. And then there’s full on “this person doesn’t turn me on in the least anymore” not having sex. If this is the case, you have a problem.

If you’re married with small children, a slowing down of your sex life is to be expected and not a reason to split up. It’s normal for any couple’s sex life to ebb and flow as different life events happen.

But if your lack of sex life has become a major issue the two of you fight about constantly or just don’t discuss at all, it may be a red flag. Ask yourself whether you’re willing to be in a relationship without any physical intimacy.

Sex is what makes a relationship different from just a friendship. If you’re no longer having sex and have little desire to have any sex in the future with the person you’re with, it may be time to transition your relationship to just that: A friendship.

3. There’s No Trust.

The foundation of every solid, lasting relationship is built on trust. Without it, the relationship is going to eventually fall apart. Nobody wants to feel that every time they walk out the door, don’t immediately respond to their partner’s text messages or occasionally get together with a friend of the opposite sex it’s going to be a “thing”.

If you’re the one with the trust issues and your partner hasn’t done anything to warrant not being trusted, you need to do the work on yourself first before you can be in any relationship. Often trust issues stem from having been betrayed in a past relationship and that gets projected onto a new partner. If this is the case, going to therapy or working with a good Relationship Coach is often a great first step to heal you those trust issues so you can be in a healthy, lasting relationship.

If your partner has done something that’s broken your trust and you’ve tried working through it and still can’t let them off the hook or truly trust them again, it may be time to walk away. If you can’t feel safe inside your own relationship it’s time to let it go.

4. You Bring Out the Worst in Each Other.

Once upon a time, you two lovebirds made a great team. You were nice to strangers on the street. You became a better son and started calling your mom every Sunday just to see how she was doing. You stopped to pet small animals on the side of the road because doesn’t everyone deserve to feel loved just like you?

Yes…love can bring out the best in you. And when it does, this is a relationship you want to stay in. I’m sure all your friends are rooting for the two of you.

But when you both find yourself yelling and screaming every time you interact, if you’re miserable to be around because you’re constantly ticked off about some annoying thing your partner does, or you find yourself constantly depressed instead being the happy-go-lucky person you used to be before you met…It’s time to get out.

5. You’ve Lost Yourself.

Before you met your partner, you had a full life. You went to the gym five nights a week, played in a bowling league, attended concerts with your friends and were always on the search for new classes you could take to expand yourself and meet new people.

Now you do only things with your partner. You’ve spent so much time focusing on them and their needs, that you long ago let go of your own. You don’t remember the last time you got together with a friend. In fact, you’ve lost most of your friends because your partner never liked hanging out with them anyway.

The 5 Stages of Love in Relationships — and Why So Many Couples Break Up After the Third

If this is you it may feel like you’ve lost yourself and that’s not healthy. There’s nothing wrong with merging lives with someone we love but merging involves combing the best of both of you, not abandoning everything about yourself to fit into your partner’s world. If you find this has happened it might be a good time to take some space from the relationship and put some time, energy, and focus into yourself for a while.

The healthiest relationships are the ones where we feel safe, secure, intimately connected, and in alignment with each other. If you’re experiencing any of the five things that don’t align with these feelings then it may be time to consider ending the relationship for both of you.

Sometimes as difficult as it is, you need to let go of something to make space for something even greater.

This guest article originally appeared on 5 Signs It May Be Time To End Your Relationship.

5 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is in Trouble

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APA Reference
Guest Author, P. (2019). 5 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is in Trouble. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Feb 2019 (Originally: 5 Feb 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Feb 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.